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DOT Post Accident Drug Testing

Written by Nick Webster

Published on Dec. 11, 2023, 4:27 p.m.


DOT post-accident drug testing becomes a requirement in the following situations:

  • When there are one or more deaths.
  • At least one person needs medical attention away from the accident scene.
  • The driver gets a citation for any type of moving violation.
  • When at least one vehicle has disabling damage and cannot be driven from the accident scene and a citation for a moving violation is given. Read here about Starting a Trucking Company Correctly.

As a CDL driver, it is essential to ensure that alcohol tests are completed within 2 hours but no later than 8 hours, and any delay should be documented. For DOT drug tests, the objective is to meet them as soon as possible, with a strict deadline of 32 hours. In either case, timely completion of these tests is essential to maintain compliance with DOT regulations.

What Does a Carrier Do If an Employee’s Involved in an Accident?

The DOT has mandated that employers operating in any of the six safety-sensitive agencies (FMCSA, FAA, FTA, USCG, FRA, and PHMSA), as well as Federal, State, and local governments, private and for-hire motor carriers, churches, and other civic entities conduct mandatory drug and alcohol tests following an accident involving their employees. Thus, they must implement specific safety measures to help protect their workers. By conducting these tests after an incident occurs, it helps to determine the cause of the crash or violation, whether it be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Also, take a look at the Drug and Alcohol Program policy.

Businesses need to remain DOT-compliant to avoid any potential disruption of operations. That's why it's imperative to administer post-accident drug testing and post-accident alcohol testing that is certified by the DOT. Doing so helps ensure the safety of your business, employees, and customers. Don't risk being unprepared—be sure you are adhering to all of the necessary requirements! What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement?

How Much Time Does a Driver Have To Receive a Post-Accident Drug Test?

If drivers take longer than two hours to complete an alcohol test, they must explain the delay. The motor carrier must also provide a written explanation of the incident and keep it in their company files. It is important to remember that all alcohol tests should be completed within eight hours of the specified time. Failure to do so may result in severe consequences. Thus, drivers and motor carriers must comply with this DOT regulation. You must visit the link.

Drivers may sometimes find it challenging to comply with the 32-hour time limit for a drug and alcohol test following an accident. This is because they can be held at the incident scene for several hours, or an investigation needs to be conducted to decide if the driver is liable. However, in cases where there is a delay in issuing a citation, as long as it is issued within 32 hours, a drug test must still be administered. Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

What Happens When a Driver Misses the Maximum Time Frame Allowed?

Completing the post-accident drug test within the maximum allotted time frame is critical. They are failing to do so results in a company being out of compliance and, therefore, subject to fines and audit penalties. If the driver does not get their drug test done before the allowed time, it should be noted in the files as to why this happened. Nonetheless, it will still be too late, and these consequences will remain. Therefore, meeting the timeframe is essential. What is the DOT SAP Program?

What About On-Site Tests, Including the DUI test and breathalyzer?

Suppose an officer conducts a DUI test or a breathalyzer at the scene of an accident. In that case, drivers are still obligated to adhere to protocol and obtain an official DOT drug and alcohol test within the designated time frames. An on-site exam by an officer alone cannot fulfill the required DOT post-accident drug testing requirements, as these tests do not comply with DOT guidelines. How To Request the DOT PIN Number?

What Happens If You Test Positive on a DOT Drug Test?

Once a verified positive drug screen result is received, the employer must immediately remove the employee from any DOT safety-sensitive tasks. Do not wait for a written report from the Medical Review Officer or an eventual split specimen test result (if requested). Timely action is essential to ensure continued workplace safety. What is the DOT SAP Program?

What Drugs Are Tested for on a DOT Drug Screen?

The Department of Transportation requires laboratory testing (49 CFR Part 40 Subpart F) to detect the presence of five classes of drugs in individuals: marijuana, cocaine, opiates (opium and codeine derivatives), amphetamines, and methamphetamines, as well as phencyclidine (PCP). Visit the DOT Authority Package, which contains tips to prepare for 2022 DOT Week filings in minutes. How do you get an Oregon Trip And Fuel Permit?

Which FMCSA Regulations Affect Drug Testing?

Before hiring a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holder, employers must ensure they receive a harmful drug and alcohol test result. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) regulation §382.301 outlines this requirement. Must visit FMCSA Hours of Service Suspended topics.

In addition, the FMCSA has put forth regulations in §382.303 for when post-accident tests should be administered for drivers who have been involved in crashes. A chart detailing these requirements can be found on the FMCSA website. What is DOT Clearinghouse Enforcement? Give us a call.

CDL drivers must be randomly tested throughout the year, as per §382.305. Suppose an employer employs only themselves as a driver and is not leased to a motor carrier. In that case, they must implement a random testing program of at least two covered employees in the random testing selection pool, with membership in a consortium (as specified in FMCSA §382.305 interpretation 11). Read about Texas DOT Numbers and USDOT Numbers. Learn here How to Prepare for a Compliance DOT Audit.

More FMCSA Regulations That Affect DOT Drug Testing Measures

Also, employers must also train CDL driver supervisors to detect signs and symptoms of impairment from drugs or alcohol in their drivers, as per §382.603. Any drivers who appear to be under the influence can be promptly tested according to FMCSA regulation §382.307. Must visit the link.

Return-to-duty testing is necessary for drivers who have violated the provisions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B, and who have completed their return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. This test must be conducted under direct observation, and a negative result is mandatory before the driver can resume their driving duties as outlined in §382.309 and §40.305. What are the Top 3 DOT paper-appointedViolations?

Follow-up testing is also required for any drivers who have tested positive, or refused to take the tests, or otherwise violated the same prohibitions of 49 CFR Part 382 Subpart B; but who have already successfully passed through the return-to-duty process with a DOT-qualified substance abuse professional. Check out The Basics of Farm Exemptions. You will then be able to maintain complete motor carrier authority or broker.

Summary: DOT Post-Accident Drug Testing

In the event of a fatal accident, DOT post-accident drug testing is mandatory. If anyone involved in the crash requires medical attention away from the scene, a drug test is also required. Additionally, if a driver receives any kind of citation for moving violations resulting from the crash, or if one of the vehicles has disabling damage and cannot be driven away from the accident site, then DOT post-accident drug testing must occur. You will need driver qualification files filed out by all employees who drive for you working. Also, take a look at what IRP or Apportioned Registration is.

Completing alcohol and drug tests within the specified timeframe is vital to maintaining DOT compliance as a CDL driver. Alcohol tests must be completed within 2 hours but no later than 8 hours, with any delay required to be documented. It's essential to act swiftly and have drug tests done within 32 hours. Adhering to these deadlines ensures that you remain compliant with all applicable regulations.

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